Sony MDR-V500DJ Headband Headphones - Black Reviews
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Sony MDR-V500DJ Headband Headphones - Black

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Nov 24, 2000 (Updated Nov 26, 2000)
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Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:One-sided cord, The folding design makes them easy to transport, Swiveling earcups sit on your desk and keep the sound in so you can walk away from your desk without turning off the source, They grip your noggin pretty good, so you shouldn't have to press

Cons:Heavy, Uncomfortable, Distorts readily, Sounds tinny, Poor fidelity, Not worth $59

I had been using a pair of Sony MDR-V200s, but I cracked the plug by moving too far away from my PC without taking off the phones. I'd given the ample V200 straight cord a few accidental yanks in the past, but this one broke the camel's back. I guess the nice 3 meter length of the cord made me too comfortable about moving while attached. =\

The folding feature of the V200s made them easy to pack and transport. After I broke them, I got spoiled by the one-sided cord of my backup headphones. I also tend to listen to my music pretty loud at work. I was therefore in the market for a pair of closed, folding 'phones with a one-sided cord.

I was unable to find the almost bulletproof V200s while searching for them on the web. I found the MDR-V500s for $58.99 ($12 insurance and shipping/handing), and was feeling pretty good about their numbers on paper: 1000 mW power handling, 40mm drivers and 102dB sensitivity.

While waiting for them, I used my set of Sennheiser HD 490s, which by the way are the best headphones I've ever had. Unfortunately, they are open, so using them in the office is like broadcasting my musical selections. They are very comfortable and have great sound -- I use them for everything from Smooth Jazz to Hip-Hop, House, Classical and playing the Counter-Strike mod with other Internet players.

The V500s have a 3-meter cord, but it is coiled to 1 meter. This means that you have a fair amount of hefty cord concentrated in a relatively short length. The result is a noticeable weight tugging on the headphones unless you tuck the cord into your waistband, which I prefer not to do. If you are standing at a mixing board, you can probably just drop the extra length into the turntable case. This unfortunate design draws the cord across my body, and occasionally touches my neck, which is an unwelcome sensation. If your source plug is to your left, you may not notice this.

The sound seems flat, with emphasis on upper midrange -- almost tinny. The bass information is weak -- you get the sense that some bass is there, but it is not reproduced convincingly. =(

It is not that hard to drive these phones to distortion -- even at moderate office listening levels, I can hear the bass breaking up. I'm not sure a club DJ will be able to use these against the house speakers without destroying either the phones or his eardrums.

Using the same sources, the Sennheisers reveal far more musical content, and are flat in a good way, with everything sounding right across the audible spectrum. I've heard it said that the HD 490s actually over-emphasize highs and lows, but after the upper-midrange-only sound of the MDR-V500s, they sound like heaven. Could be just from too many years of pounding house music, so as always, your mileage may vary.

If you need phones that are easy to carry around in a bag (but not on your head) and look kind of cool, you might take a look at these.

If you like to have some semblance of musical fidelity and want phones that are comfortable enough for extended listening, keep looking. FYI, at the time of writing, the super comfortable Sennheiser HD 490s were available for $49.95 at Audio Advisor. Best headphone money I ever spent.

Recommend this product? No

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